Mumbai Local

Bill against dance bars to be state’s priority

All eyes will be on the new bill against dance bars this week, when the state’s budget session enters its third week. Following the Supreme Court’s order in favour of reopening dance bars in Mumbai, the state was supposed to issue licences by March 15 if they complied with all the 26 conditions laid down by the state. However, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said at a press conference on the eve of the budget session that the government will bring in a new law, to ensure that dance bars do not reopen.

The CM’s decision to suspend four police officers after they allegedly submitted false reports on compliance of conditions is widely being interpreted as a clear indication of the government’s intent to not let bars open.

On their part, state officials close to the CM said the police officers renewed old licences that were cancelled in 2005. “When the dance bars were closed, all licences were terminated. It means that the entire procedure should have started from the beginning. But here the officers seem to have only renewed the licences, which has led to the action.”

The extreme action against the cops is also being perceived as an attempt to avoid criticism from the opposition that has stated that the state facilitated opening of dance bars. Leader of Opposition in the state council Dhananjay Munde had earlier said that the state failed to effectively argue the case against dance bars in the Supreme Court. Members of a trust formed in the memory of late RR Patil, state’s former Home Minister who played a crucial role in closing dance bars in 2005, too had targeted Mr Fadnavis and alleged that he accepted cheques for the government relief fund from members of the hotel owners’ association. The CM has already formed a 25-member committee of all party MLAs to review the new legislation’s draft.

Mr Fadnavis had said in the Assembly that previous attempts were in the form of amendments to the original bill to ban dance bars. “But we need a new bill which will take care of this matter thoroughly.”

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 12:52:45 AM |

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